Since August 23, the US has suspended the issuance of nonimmigrant visas across Russia, the US Embassy in Russia reported.
Representatives of the diplomatic mission explained that the issuance of visas will be resumed, but in a reduced amount.
The Embassy explained that this was due to a decrease in the number of employees at the US Embassy in Russia.
In addition, starting from September 1, 2017, interviews for US nonimmigrant visas will only be held at the US Embassy in Moscow. Interviews for obtaining a nonimmigrant visa at US consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok will be suspended until further notice.
Additionally, previously scheduled interviews will be canceled. The Embassy noted that those who had already applied for a US visa "will be provided instructions on how to reschedule" their interview.
Interviews for citizens of the Republic of Belarus who applied for a nonimmigrant visa for the United States and who have already paid the consular fee will be rescheduled. They are recommended to apply for interviews with the US embassies in Warsaw, Kyiv or Vilnius.
On July 27, the Upper House of the US Congress overwhelmingly (98-2) passed a law imposing new sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.
In the extensive document, about half of the 184 pages are devoted to Russia; these pages list everything that American politicians accuse Moscow of - actions against Ukraine, attacks on the cyber security of the United States and other countries and attempts to influence the outcome of the elections, support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria, corruption, human rights violations and so on - and mentions all actions and decrees adopted so far regarding sanctions.
The main change in the new law is that it deprives the president of the opportunity to lift sanctions against Russia without the permission of Congress.
In response, on July 28, the authorities of the Russian Federation demanded that the United States reduce the number of employees of American diplomatic missions in Russia to 455 people. In addition, since August 1, the US Embassy has suspended the use of two real estate properties in Moscow - a dacha in Serebryany Bor and a warehouse on Dorozhnaya Street.